UPDATE: Slideshow posted so you too can see what it was like to be in line for an iPhone 3GS way before the rest of the county was awake. Also more updates posted on lines at other Orange County Apple stores.
* See latest line updates, as of 4:20 p.m., below…
* Best Buy stores, Wal-Marts and AT&T stores are also selling the new iPhone 3GS today.
* Just got a call from AT&T at 10:07 a.m. that AT&T stores have relatively short lines compared to Apple stores. Of course, you can order an iPhone online and get it mailed to you within 7 to 14 days. But that’s no fun!
*As of 4:37 p.m., the Apple store at the Irvine Spectrum has a 10-15 minute line wait. All colors and sizes of 3GS phones are still available.
*As of 4:30 p.m., the Apple store at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa is sold out of iPhone 3GS, unless you reserved one ahead of time.
* As of 4:25 p.m., the Apple store in Mission Viejo has a very short line and there are limited quantities of all the phones.
*As of 4:22 p.m., the Apple store at Fashion Island in Newport Beach is sold out.
*As of 4:20 p.m., the Apple store in Brea still has a line. The store only has 32 GB iPhone 3GS left in both white and black.
* As of 11:21 a.m., the Mission Viejo Apple store says the line is about 10-15 people and the store is almost sold out of every iPhone 3GS in stock.
* As of 11:14 a.m., the Irvine Spectrum Apple store reports a 2-hour wait in line. All phones are still in stock.
* As of 11:11 a.m., the Fashion Island Apple store says the line is about 2-hours long. The 16-GB white iPhone 3GS is sold out.
* As of 11:08 a.m., the Brea Apple store still has a line and is expected to be there most of the day.
* As of 9:49 a.m., the Apple store at South Coast Plaza HAS NO LINE. There are still plenty in stock, according to the store.
* As of 9:25 a.m., the Apple store at The Shops in Mission Viejo has about a 1-hour long line for folks who didn’t reserve a phone ahead of time. They’ve run out 16 GB white iPhone 3GS and is in short supply of other models. However, the online reservation system opens back up tomorrow so the store expects to recieve more units tomorrow.
* As of 9:22 a.m., the Apple Store at Brea Mall has a “pretty long line.”
* As of 9:20 a.m., the Apple Store at Fashion Island has a 1.5-hour wait in line. The store is also sold out of the 16-GB iPhone 3GS in white.
* At Orange County AT&T stores, which also opened at 7 a.m., AT&T reports there were lines at every store. For the greater Los Angeles area, there were, on average, 40-60 people in line as the stores opened, according to an AT&T spokesman.
Lines were all over Orange County and by 7 a.m. phones were moving out of the Apple stores. Over at South Coast Plaza, doors opened 45 minutes early for the nearly 100 200 people in line.
People continue to Twitter about waiting in line, including the first in line at South Coast Plaza (pictured on right), who our South Coast Plaza reporter Candice Shih interviewed below. Elsewhere in the county, Twitter user neilgreene said he was picking up an iPhone at the Mission Viejo store by 7 a.m. While carolynhimes said she was the 25th in line at the Apple store in Fashion Island just after 7 a.m.
Candice Shih, who blogs for the Register’s South Coast Plaza blog , arrived at the Apple Store at the Costa Mesa mall by 6:15 a.m., just in time to catch the first people in line before they headed inside the store. Here’s her report (or see her special SCP take “Apple store sees steady stream of iFans for launch of new iPhone“), which includes a couple of photos from Register photographer Mark Rightmire (the Gadgetress appreciates the hard and early-morning work!):
All Apple stores in Orange County were supposed to open at 7 a.m. to sell the new iPhone 3GS. But the store in South Coast Plaza opened at 6:15 a.m. I don’t know why they opened the store early but good thing I got there at 6:15 — just in time to talk to the first guy in line.
“I’m an enthusiast for the products. I like to buy them on launch day,” he said.
Worrel, who writes tech reviews for Fudzilla.com, arrived with two non-iPhone buying friends at 1:30 a.m. but security asked them to leave. They went to Denny’s and came back to claim the first-in-line spot by 3:30 a.m.
“I just like the (iPhone’s) intuitive operating system. It’s easy to use and fully functional,” he said.
He was first in line for the launch last year too.
Read more of Candice’s coverage on the South Coast Plaza Apple launch at “Apple store sees steady stream of iFans for launch of new iPhone.”
For more coverage on where you can one of those nifty new iPhones yourself, here you go:
Orange County’s Apple stores open at 7 a.m. (though some stores say 8 a.m. on their phone message). Expect two lines, one for pre-orders, one for everyone else. See more details about individual stores below:
For those heading to AT&T stores (you can search for O.C. locations HERE), the stores open at 7 a.m. but only to allow customers who pre-ordered and notified by e-mail to leave with a phone.
Doors open for everyone else at 8 a.m. If you pre-ordered and miss the 7 a.m. opening, AT&T will let you go to the front of the line until 9 a.m. However, if you pre-ordered a phone and got confirmation that the phone is available, then an iPhone 3GS with your name on it will be waiting at the store no matter what time. You just may not be able to cut in line though if you arrive after 9 a.m. Don’t forget: Bring your receipt!
If you pre-ordered online at AT&T, your phone should arrive beginning Friday. Others could come as late as 14 days from now.
Best Buy and Wal-Mart stores also begin selling the phones Friday. However, iPhones could be in limited supplies. An employee at the Orange Best Buy said that all of its phones have been reserved for those who preordered at BestBuy.com. I’d call the store ahead of time before heading out.
I’m assuming that if you’re a major iPhone fan, you’ve already ordered your phone and should be taken care of Friday. For everyone else who has been thinking about getting the latest version, iPhones are here to stay. They may sell out in one day but more will surely be on the way as they have been every year.
PRICING: Since the iPhone 3GS was announced two weeks ago, pricing has changed a bit. The cheapest price is $199 for the 16 GB and $299 for the 32 GB version. But people stuck in a 2-year AT&T contract had to pay $200 more. However on Wednesday, AT&T allowed some iPhone users to get the greater discount if they fall into one of two categories: they pay more than $99/month for service on their phone or their 2-year contract will end by September (visit www.att.com/iPhone to see if you’re eligible). This, of course, means that most iPhone 3G users don’t qualify for the lowest price since that phone went on sale last July. And most users don’t meet the $99 minimum, as this TechCrunch writer found out.
MONTHLY SERVICE: Same as before. Individual plans start at $70 ($30 for data, $40 for voice).
HARDWARE: iPhone 3GS — with S for Speed — is supposed to be faster in every aspect, from faster messaging, loading programs, viewing documents and loading OCRegister.com. This is because it supports 7.2 Mbps HSDPA technology. Battery life has improved, plus there’s a new camera, hardware encryption, built-in digital compass (so map will orient in direction phone is facing), voice-activated calling. And it uses voice commands on iTunes and you can edit videos right on the phone.
More iPhone info:
Photos courtesy of AT&T.